Notre Dame at Purdue
Time: 8 p.m.
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette
TV: ABC Radio: 1190 AM, 1380 AM, 107.3 FM
Line: Notre Dame by 20 1/2
Records: No. 21 Irish (1-1), Boilermakers (1-1)
Last game: Notre Dame won 20-17
Series: Notre Dame leads 56-26-2
On the Web: To watch a video preview for tonight’s game, go to “Irish Insights” or “Boiling Point” at www.journalgazette.net
Points per game: 29 (T-67th in NCAA)
Yards per game: 476.5 (41st)
Passing yards per game: 334.5 (16th)
Rushing yards per game: 142 (78th)
The skinny: Tommy Rees averages 330 passing yards and has thrown for five TDs with two INTs. TJ Jones is the leading receiver with 116 yards on 15 catches. Amir Carlisle is emerging as the workhorse in the running game with 19 carries for 132 yards and averages 6.9 yards a carry, and George Atkinson III averages 5.5 yards a carry and has gained 71 yards on 13 chances.
Defense Points per game: 23.5 (T-54th)
Yards per game: 411 (78th)
Passing yards per game: 261 (88th)
Rushing yards per game: 150 (T-61st)
The skinny: The Irish are not as dominate on defense as last year, but they still have plenty of talent. Defensive linemen Stephon Tuitt, Louis Nix III and Sheldon Day have combined for 11 tackles with two tackles for loss. Middle linebackers Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese lead the team in tackles with 20 and 14, and each have two tackles for loss. Former Bishop Luers star Jaylon Smith has six tackles and a pass breakup at outside linebacker, and Prince Shembo and Ishaq Williams have combined 10 tackles. Cornerbacks Bennett Jackson and KeiVarae Russell along with safeties Matthias Farley and Austin Collinsworth have 27 total tackles.
Special teams Field goals: 3 for 5
Kick return avg.: 29 (17th)
Punt return avg.: 10.3 (40th)
Punting avg.: 34.6 (87th)
The skinny: Kyle Brindza has been asked to do it all in the kicking game, handling kickoffs, punts and field goals. He has hit 3 of 4 field goals, averages 64.3 yards on kickoffs and 40.9 on punts. Jones has given the punt return game some life, gaining 41 yards on four returns for an 10.2-yard average. Atkinson has returned four kickoffs for 116 yards with a long of 50.
Coaches Brian Kelly
Seasons: 23 (4th at Notre Dame)
Record: 29-12 at Notre Dame
vs. Purdue: 3-0
The skinny: Kelly-led Irish teams have outscored Purdue 81-39, and Kelly made the unpopular choice of replacing Everett Golson with Rees for the final drive against Purdue last season, and Rees responded by leading the team to a game-winning field goal.
Injuries DL Tony Springmann (knee); LB Danny Spond (migraine); LB Doug Randolph (shoulder); S Nicky Baratti (shoulder) out; QB Malik Zaire (mononucleosis) game-time decision
Prediction Notre Dame comes into tonight hurting from its first regular-season loss (41-30 at Michigan last weekend). The Irish will respond with a 35-6 victory.
Points per game: 13.5 (T-113th)
Yards per game: 255 (116th)
Passing yards per game: 155.5 (99th)
Rushing yards per game: 99.5 (103rd)
The skinny: Quarterback Rob Henry will miss tight end Gabe Holmes, who has been a hot target in the passing game, but might get receiver Danny Anthrop back against the Irish. The run game will be crucial, and Purdue needs to do much better than its average of 99.5 yards. Running backs Akeem Hunt and Dalyn Dawkins have to outperform themselves against a tough defensive line.
Points per game: 28 (T-79th)
Yards per game: 360 (55th)
Passing yards per game: 230 (70th)
Rushing yards per game: 130 (49th)
The skinny: The run defense, which has been stout through two weeks, will be integral. If the Boilermakers can make Notre Dame one-dimensional, then its secondary has a chance to make some plays. With safety and former Bishop Dwenger standout Landon Feichter out because of a broken leg, sophomore defensive back Anthony Brown will need to be at his best, and senior cornerback Ricardo Allen and sophomore Frankie Williams have to have lock down coverage on the outside. The defensive line will test itself against a Notre Dame offensive line that has given up one sack on 50 throws.
Field goals: 2 for 4
Kick return avg.: 33.2 (11th)
Punt return avg.: 8 (T-52nd)
Punting avg.: 50.4 (2nd)
The skinny: Purdue has a tough kick return tandem in Hunt, who got Big Ten co-Special Teams Player of the Week Honors in Week 2, and junior Raheem Mostert. Hunt had a return for a touchdown against the Sycamores. Purdue also has Cody Webster, who is averaging 50.4 yards a punt after returns and has booted two more than 70 yards.
Seasons: 3 (1st at Purdue)
Record: 1-1 at Purdue
vs. Notre Dame: 0-0
The skinny: Hazell got his first win at Purdue during Week 2 but faces a rough introduction to the rivalry with the Irish this week. While he turned Kent State to an 11-win program within a year, the Boilermakers’ building project hasn’t happened overnight.
SLandon Feichter (leg); TE Gabe Holmes (wrist) out; WR Danny Anthrop (knee) probable; WR Gary Bush (ankle) questionable
Purdue has a defense that can keep the game close, but its offense has been stagnant in games against inferior competition so far. Notre Dame wins 21-3.